AASCU HIGHLIGHTS

Top 10 State Policy Issues
AASCU’s latest Policy Matters focuses on the top 10 higher education state policy issues for 2016. It summarizes the areasa that are likely to generate the most attention in state capitals around the country. Download pdf



Still Time to Register for Funding Conference
Registration is still open for the GRC 2016 Funding Competitiveness Conference scheduled for February 17-20. The conference provides a forum for research and sponsored programs officers, senior administrators and faculty to connect with funders, area experts and colleagues from across the country. For more information visit aascu.org/GRC/meetings/winter16



Report Says Data-Informed Course Scheduling Can Improve Student Success
In their 2015 Higher Education Scheduling Index (HESI) Report, Ad Astra Information Systems found that data-informed course scheduling can improve resource utilization and student success on most campuses. See how your institution compares. Read the report (pdf)

 

Programs

Arkansas State University
Arkansas State University Chancellor Tim Hudson signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Manado (UNIMA), a public university located in the province of North Sulawesi in Indonesia, during a recent campus ceremony. UNIMA is interested in sending students and faculty to A-State to study English in the English Learning Academy (ELA). Read more

California State University, East Bay

  • In a partnership with Hayward Promise Neighborhood and We Care Solar, Cal State East Bay is using solar energy education to promote social justice and environmental sustainability at home and abroad. Read more
  • This past fall, K-12 school districts across the Bay Area and the state struggled with the worst teacher shortage in recent memory. CSUEB, with a long history as a leader in music education, is providing teachers for culturally diverse, urban districts, such as those in the East Bay. Read more

Harris-Stowe State University (Mo.)
Harris-Stowe State University (HSSU) has announced a partnership with the Washington University and its School of Medicine and Program in Occupational Therapy (WUSM). The new Cooperative Degree-Conferring program allows students to earn a dual undergraduate and graduate degree by attending both institutions. Read more

Millersville University of Pennsylvania
Millersville University finalized a Climate Action Plan that provides a framework for achieving carbon neutrality by 2040. The Climate Action Plan includes 10 goals ranging from increasing the energy efficiency of Millersville’s buildings to advancing a culture of sustainability on campus. Read more

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Grants and Gifts

Frostburg State University (Md.)
The late Woodward D. Pealer, a Cumberland, Md., businessman and longtime supporter of Frostburg State University, has bequeathed more than $2.5 million to the FSU Foundation, the largest gift in the University’s history. The bequest will benefit student scholarships and faculty development. Read more

James Madison University (Va.)
Researchers from three JMU science and technology departments have received more than $31,000 in mini-grants from 4-VA to jumpstart collaborative research projects with colleagues at other universities. Potential outcomes include shared courses, redesigned courses or collaborative research projects. Those projects include bus rerouting, watersheds in Shenandoah National Park, nuclear and particle physics conference organization, string theory and more. Read more

Millersville University of Pennsylvania
Judith Cebra-Thomas, associate professor of biology, is researching the evolutionary development of turtles with the assistance of a $507,736 research grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Integrative Organismal Systems. The grant will allow Cebra-Thomas to conduct cutting-edge research including the gene cataloging technique RNAseq and labeling genes with green fluorescent protein. Read more

University of Arkansas at Little Rock
A 10-acre land donation will clear the way for the University of Arkansas at Little Rock to build a new baseball park and expand its current sports complex. Read more

University of Central Florida
A University of Central Florida researcher who is using laser pulses to create more powerful electronics, and a professor who is looking to combine thousands of transistors into a single computer chip have earned $840,000 in grants from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. Read more

University of Michigan-Flint
The University of Michigan-Flint (UM-Flint) is receiving one of the largest donations in its history: a 16-story building featuring academic space, student housing and a conference center. The Riverfront is a landmark downtown Flint building that will add to the existing campus footprint. Read more

University of West Florida
The University of West Florida has received the largest gift from a living donor in its history. Long-time supporter Harold E. ‘Hal’ Marcus allocated $5 million to the College of Science and Engineering, which will be named the Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering in his honor. Read more

Winthrop University (S.C.)

  • Winthrop University will participate in its third cycle of a Biomedical Research Initiative, the South Carolina IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (SC INBRE) III. The initiative will bring in more than $1 million to the university through 2020. The funds come from the National Institutes of Health, specifically the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. Read more
  • Winthrop University Assistant Biology Professor Matt Stern was recently awarded a SC INBRE III Developmental Research Project (DRP) Target Faculty award to work with students to explore stem cell growth. The $73,159 grant is for one year but can be renewed for two more years. Stern and up to five students will spend time studying how cultured stem cells behave in two- and three-dimensional experimental microenvironments. Read more

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Awards and Honors

Arkansas Tech University
Arkansas Tech University has been selected to represent the Great American Conference as a finalist for the 2016 NCAA Division II Award of Excellence. The award recognizes events and activities that exemplify any of the six NCAA Division II attributes: learning, balance, resourcefulness, sportsmanship, passion and service. Read more

Black Hills State University (S.D.)
Black Hills State University professor Steve Babbitt was honored by the Rapid City Area Chamber of Commerce for his contributions to arts and culture within the Black Hills, South Dakota community. Read more

Frostburg State University (Md.)
Legendary Frostburg State head coach Robert Lewis was inducted into the 2015 U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame in December. Lewis' coaching career began at Frostburg in 1970 and lasted until 2001. During his career, 68 of Lewis's athletes received All-American honors and turned in 113 total All-American performances. Under his leadership, FSU produced 14 NCAA Division III National Champions and established six national meet records. Read more

James Madison University (Va.)
Chris Hughes, professor of physics and astronomy and director of the JMU Center for Materials Science, has been chosen a winner of Virginia’s highest honor for faculty, the Outstanding Faculty Award presented by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. This award recognizes superior accomplishments in teaching, research and public service. Read more

Midwestern State University (Texas)
Rebecca Dodge, associate professor of geosciences, will receive one of only five Honorary Member Awards given by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG). The award honors individuals who have distinguished themselves by their accomplishments and through their service to the profession of petroleum geology and to the AAPG. Read more

Stockton University (N.J.)
Two Stockton University faculty members were named to Discover magazine’s Top 100 Science Stories of 2015. The January/February 2016 issue of Discover highlights the year’s best in science in every field, including space exploration, medicine, technology, paleontology and the environment. Paleontology research done by Margaret E. Lewis, professor of biology, and Matthew Bonnan, associate professor of biology, were ranked #28 and #61 respectively on the Top 100 list. Read more

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Spotlight

Angelo State University (Texas)

  • Emily Perez, a senior nursing major in the Angelo State University Honors Program, is spending her winter break studying and conducting research in South America after being one of only 15 honors students nationwide chosen for this year’s Amazon Winterim in Peru through the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC). Read more
  • Angelo State University’s Wool Judging Team was named Reserve Grand Champion and had three individuals place in the top 10 at the 2016 National Western Stock Show Intercollegiate Wool Judging Contest on Jan. 14 in Denver, Colo. Read more

Arkansas State University
Arkansas State provides training to students on various safety issues to reduce crime. For instance, since 2010, thousands of students have participated in more than 100 active shooter training classes as a part of the A-State First-Year Experience course, a required “shared experience” class for all undergraduate students. The requirement for all first-year students to receive active shooter instruction puts A-State among a handful of universities in the country. Read more

Black Hills State University (S.D.)
The Black Hills State University Enactus (ENtrepreneurial ACTion for others creates a better world for US all) organization held a documentary film screening to raise funds for an international project in Zambia. Students will travel to Zambia in May as part of their BeeSweet honey project that provides economic independence for Zambian farmers. Read more

California State University, Northridge
Educators-in-training use cutting-edge software called TeachLive, a “mixed-reality” environment where they can practice teaching before a classroom of virtual young people programmed to act like real students — boredom, distractions and all — and receive instant feedback from professors.
Adopting the tool in 2012, CSUN was the 13th university in the country to use TeachLive. Read more

Dakota State University (S.D.)
Dakota State University faculty, Pam Rowland and Ashley Podhradsky, kicked off their FEMSTEM AAUW grant program and visited a local school to teach girls how to code. The classroom visits are sponsored by the AAUW and are intended to introduce the girls to programming and cybersecurity while also promoting their GenCyber: Girls in CyberSecurity camp. Read more

Georgia College
Georgia College soccer senior Ally Barys (Ladera Ranch, California) has been named a semi-finalist for the renowned Coach Wooden Citizens Cup Award, one of three student-athletes chosen from Division II ranks. Barys was one of 22 semi-finalists selected across all three levels of the NCAA for the Coach Wooden Citizen Cup Award, presented by Athletes for a Better World. Read more

University of Central Florida

  • UCF’s Collegiate Cyber Defense Club, also known as Hack@UCF, was crowned champion for best overall performance in 2015 for a second consecutive year. The team was awarded the Collegiate Cybersecurity Championship Cup because it had the best record among universities in cybersecurity competitions during the academic year. Read more
  • Nine-year-old Alvin Garcia Flores met Darth Vader recently when the Star Wars character presented the Nebraska child a black box during a school assembly. Inside was a 3-D printed bionic arm Alvin had put on his Christmas list. Alvin was born without his right arm, but thanks to University of Central Florida-based Limbitless Solutions and the 501st Legion group of Star Wars fans, he received the bionic arm in Omaha, Neb. The team of UCF students constructed the bionic arm as part of its 12 Arms for Christmas campaign. Read more
  • Two teams of UCF mechanical engineering students plan to show off their designs this month for a 760 mph “Hyperloop” transportation system proposed by entrepreneur Elon Musk. The founder of SpaceX and Tesla Motors first raised the idea for a Hyperloop in 2013. The two UCF teams are each designing a subsystem for the passenger pods. A team known as the “Pod Brakers” is designing an emergency braking system for the passenger pods. The second team, known as “HyperSQUAD,” is designing ergonomic seats for passengers. Read more

University of Michigan-Flint
Faculty, staff, and students from all three University of Michigan campuses are coming together over the water crisis in the city of Flint to offer everything from research expertise and accurate information on the situation to water filters and bottled water. Read more

University of North Georgia
For the third year, University of North Georgia President Bonita C. Jacobs has presented awards totaling nearly $300,000 to faculty and staff to support them in pursuing professional development opportunities and research projects. Read more

University of West Florida
Three UWF chemistry scholars students recently attended the DOW-MIT ACCESS program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. UWF was the only institution in the chemistry program to have three students representing their university. Read more

Valdosta State University (Ga.)
The Valdosta State University Nikes won the 2015-2016 National Intramural Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) Men’s National Flag Football Championship for the second consecutive year.
Read more

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